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Offense fails UMass football in loss to Bowling Green

  • Massachusetts linebacker Kassan Messiah (90) and defensive lineman Hafis Williams (94) tackle Bowling Green running back Anthon Samuel in the third quarter of an NCAA college football game in Foxborough, Mass., Saturday, Oct. 20, 2012. Bowling Green won 24-0. (AP Photo/Michael Dwyer)

    Massachusetts linebacker Kassan Messiah (90) and defensive lineman Hafis Williams (94) tackle Bowling Green running back Anthon Samuel in the third quarter of an NCAA college football game in Foxborough, Mass., Saturday, Oct. 20, 2012. Bowling Green won 24-0. (AP Photo/Michael Dwyer) Purchase photo reprints »

  • Bowling Green linebacker Dwayne Woods (5) celebrates with teammate Gabe Martin, left, after Woods intercepted a pass and ran it back for a touchdown in the third quarter of an NCAA college football game against Massachusetts in Foxborough, Mass., Saturday, Oct. 20, 2012. Bowling Green won 24-0. (AP Photo/Michael Dwyer)

    Bowling Green linebacker Dwayne Woods (5) celebrates with teammate Gabe Martin, left, after Woods intercepted a pass and ran it back for a touchdown in the third quarter of an NCAA college football game against Massachusetts in Foxborough, Mass., Saturday, Oct. 20, 2012. Bowling Green won 24-0. (AP Photo/Michael Dwyer) Purchase photo reprints »

  • Bowling Green wide receiver Ryan Burbrink, left, carries the ball as University of Massachusetts linebacker John Robinson, right, defends at Gillette Stadium in Foxborough on Saturday. Bowling Green won 24-0. (AP Photo)

    Bowling Green wide receiver Ryan Burbrink, left, carries the ball as University of Massachusetts linebacker John Robinson, right, defends at Gillette Stadium in Foxborough on Saturday. Bowling Green won 24-0. (AP Photo) Purchase photo reprints »

  • Bowling Green defensive back BooBoo Gates, right, intercepts a pass intended for University of Massachusetts wide receiver Marken Michel at Gillette Stadium in Foxborough on  Saturday. Bowling Green won 24-0. (AP Photo)

    Bowling Green defensive back BooBoo Gates, right, intercepts a pass intended for University of Massachusetts wide receiver Marken Michel at Gillette Stadium in Foxborough on Saturday. Bowling Green won 24-0. (AP Photo) Purchase photo reprints »

  • Bowling Green wide receiver Kevin Collins scores in the third quarter  against the University of Massachusetts at Gillette Stadium in Foxborough on Saturday. Bowling Green won 24-0. (AP Photo)

    Bowling Green wide receiver Kevin Collins scores in the third quarter against the University of Massachusetts at Gillette Stadium in Foxborough on Saturday. Bowling Green won 24-0. (AP Photo) Purchase photo reprints »

  • Massachusetts wide receiver Deion Walker (3) reaches for an incomplete pass in front of the Bowling Green bench in the second quarter of an NCAA college football game in Foxborough, Mass., Saturday, Oct. 20, 2012. (AP Photo/Michael Dwyer)

    Massachusetts wide receiver Deion Walker (3) reaches for an incomplete pass in front of the Bowling Green bench in the second quarter of an NCAA college football game in Foxborough, Mass., Saturday, Oct. 20, 2012. (AP Photo/Michael Dwyer) Purchase photo reprints »

  • Bowling Green wide receiver Ryan Burbrink, right, breaks the tackle attempted by University of Massachusetts defensive back Darren Thellen at Gillette Stadium in Foxborough on Saturday. Bowling Green won 24-0. (AP Photo)

    Bowling Green wide receiver Ryan Burbrink, right, breaks the tackle attempted by University of Massachusetts defensive back Darren Thellen at Gillette Stadium in Foxborough on Saturday. Bowling Green won 24-0. (AP Photo) Purchase photo reprints »

  • University of Massachusetts quarterback Mike Wegzyn looks to pass against Bowling Green at Gillette Stadium in Foxborough on Saturday. Wegzyn was nine-of-25 with two interceptions in the 24-0 loss. (AP Photo)

    University of Massachusetts quarterback Mike Wegzyn looks to pass against Bowling Green at Gillette Stadium in Foxborough on Saturday. Wegzyn was nine-of-25 with two interceptions in the 24-0 loss. (AP Photo) Purchase photo reprints »

  • Massachusetts defensive back Darren Thellen (27) and Bowling Green wide receiver Je'Ron Stokes (16) reach for an incomplete pass intended for Thellen during the third quarter of an NCAA college football game in Foxborough, Mass., Saturday, Oct. 20, 2012. Bowling Green won 24-0. (AP Photo/Michael Dwyer)

    Massachusetts defensive back Darren Thellen (27) and Bowling Green wide receiver Je'Ron Stokes (16) reach for an incomplete pass intended for Thellen during the third quarter of an NCAA college football game in Foxborough, Mass., Saturday, Oct. 20, 2012. Bowling Green won 24-0. (AP Photo/Michael Dwyer) Purchase photo reprints »

  • University of Massachusetts defensive back Darren Thellen, left, and Bowling Green wide receiver Je'Ron Stokes reach for an incomplete pass at Gillette Stadium in Foxborough on Saturday. Bowling Green won 24-0. (AP Photo)

    University of Massachusetts defensive back Darren Thellen, left, and Bowling Green wide receiver Je'Ron Stokes reach for an incomplete pass at Gillette Stadium in Foxborough on Saturday. Bowling Green won 24-0. (AP Photo) Purchase photo reprints »

  • Massachusetts linebacker Kassan Messiah (90) and defensive lineman Hafis Williams (94) tackle Bowling Green running back Anthon Samuel in the third quarter of an NCAA college football game in Foxborough, Mass., Saturday, Oct. 20, 2012. Bowling Green won 24-0. (AP Photo/Michael Dwyer)
  • Bowling Green linebacker Dwayne Woods (5) celebrates with teammate Gabe Martin, left, after Woods intercepted a pass and ran it back for a touchdown in the third quarter of an NCAA college football game against Massachusetts in Foxborough, Mass., Saturday, Oct. 20, 2012. Bowling Green won 24-0. (AP Photo/Michael Dwyer)
  • Bowling Green wide receiver Ryan Burbrink, left, carries the ball as University of Massachusetts linebacker John Robinson, right, defends at Gillette Stadium in Foxborough on Saturday. Bowling Green won 24-0. (AP Photo)
  • Bowling Green defensive back BooBoo Gates, right, intercepts a pass intended for University of Massachusetts wide receiver Marken Michel at Gillette Stadium in Foxborough on  Saturday. Bowling Green won 24-0. (AP Photo)
  • Bowling Green wide receiver Kevin Collins scores in the third quarter  against the University of Massachusetts at Gillette Stadium in Foxborough on Saturday. Bowling Green won 24-0. (AP Photo)
  • Massachusetts wide receiver Deion Walker (3) reaches for an incomplete pass in front of the Bowling Green bench in the second quarter of an NCAA college football game in Foxborough, Mass., Saturday, Oct. 20, 2012. (AP Photo/Michael Dwyer)
  • Bowling Green wide receiver Ryan Burbrink, right, breaks the tackle attempted by University of Massachusetts defensive back Darren Thellen at Gillette Stadium in Foxborough on Saturday. Bowling Green won 24-0. (AP Photo)
  • University of Massachusetts quarterback Mike Wegzyn looks to pass against Bowling Green at Gillette Stadium in Foxborough on Saturday. Wegzyn was nine-of-25 with two interceptions in the 24-0 loss. (AP Photo)
  • Massachusetts defensive back Darren Thellen (27) and Bowling Green wide receiver Je'Ron Stokes (16) reach for an incomplete pass intended for Thellen during the third quarter of an NCAA college football game in Foxborough, Mass., Saturday, Oct. 20, 2012. Bowling Green won 24-0. (AP Photo/Michael Dwyer)
  • University of Massachusetts defensive back Darren Thellen, left, and Bowling Green wide receiver Je'Ron Stokes reach for an incomplete pass at Gillette Stadium in Foxborough on Saturday. Bowling Green won 24-0. (AP Photo)

But the offense never even got close to the end zone as UMass fell 24-0 before a homecoming crowd of 10,846 at Gillette Stadium.

The Minutemen (0-7, 0-4 Mid-American Conference) trailed 7-0 until the Falcons scored twice in less than a minute late in the third to eliminate any suspense. A 2-yard touchdown pass by quarterback Matt Schilz capped a 74-yard drive with 3 minutes, 42 seconds left in the third quarter to give Bowling Green a 14-0 lead. Two plays after the ensuing kickoff, Dwayne Woods intercepted Mike Wegzyn at the UMass 48-yard line and raced into the end zone with 2:51 left in the third to make it 21-0.

The Falcons (5-3, 3-1 MAC) added a late field goal to close out the scoring.

The Minutemen finished with just 118 yards of total offense and were 1-of-16 on third down.

“I would say so much of it was just not executing,” UMass coach Charley Molnar said. “Just pull-your-hair-out type of things that some of the guys did, and these are just basics. Basic stuff guys just didn’t do.

“I don’t know that we do anything well regularly,” he added. “We do do some things well, but not on a consistent basis. Today, even those things that we’ve managed to do well — hit some short passes, some presnap reads when some guys are obviously going to be open, get the ball to them — we just didn’t do it today. We went for the hard throw rather than the easy throw.

“We left the pocket when protection was good,” Molnar continued. “We don’t always have good protection, but when it’s good, we’ve got to stay in the pocket, go through your reads, and today we just kind of abandoned a lot of forward progress that we had made.”

Wegzyn completed just 9-of-25 passes for 23 yards and was intercepted twice before sitting for the fourth quarter. His replacement, true freshman A.J. Doyle, was 4-of-9 for 10 yards and he also was intercepted twice.

Molnar said Wegzyn has slipped since strong outings against Miami (Ohio) and Ohio University.

“Performance-wise, I would say that he’s not matched that. It’s not exactly like he’s trying to scale Mount Everest to get back to that level of performance, but today even, he was just not himself,” Molnar said. “Things that he does in practice every day, tougher things, and today he just didn’t do it. We’ll have to go back and look and make sure that he’s confident in what he does and he knows what he’s doing. If we’ve got too much on his plate, then we’ve got to take something off.”

Wegzyn put the responsibility for the offense’s struggles on himself.

“It’s the most frustrated I’ve been in awhile, definitely,” he said. “Obviously, Bowling Green’s a good team. They’re a great defense. We knew that coming in. We accepted the challenge. . . .

“As quarterback, I need to lead the offense and get things going, even when they’re not, and I didn’t do that today,” Wegzyn added. “It’s awful that we had that kind of performance. (Our defense was) playing so well, fighting so hard, that personally, I feel like I let them down.”

The rushing offense wasn’t much better, gaining 85 yards on 26 carries, with over a third of that coming on one 32-yard run by Mike Cox (10 carries, 37 yards).

The Minuteman defense held tailback Anthon Samuel to 60 yards on 22 carries and allowed the Falcons to convert just four of 17 third downs.

“Defensively, I think they played the best they’ve played this year. They tackled well, we stopped the run, made some great individual efforts in the back end,” Molnar said. “Offensively, we just couldn’t put any wind in their sails. We couldn’t give them any life. I thought they just kept fighting and fighting on D and offensively, we just didn’t have it today.”

UMass freshman Kassan Messiah had 16 tackles, his third double-digit tackle performance in the last four game.

Messiah said he hopes the defense would build off its play.

“Definitely. I feel like we made progress today as a unit,” he said. “Different people won individual battles. Everybody just took the initiative to do their job, basically, and we made progress today as a defense.”

The Minutemen play their final nonconference game of the season at 7 p.m. Saturday at Vanderbilt.

Matt Vautour can be reached at mvautour@gazettenet.com. Follow UMass coverage on Twitter at twitter.com/GazetteUMass. Get UMass coverage delivered in your Facebook news feed at www.facebook.com/GazetteUMassCoverage.

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FOXBOROUGH — Four days after the University of Massachusetts got a surge of positive publicity from a YouTube video showing coach Charley Molnar awarding two players scholarships, the school got some negative attention via Twitter on Saturday. True freshman cornerback D’Metrius Williams had a breakout performance with seven tackles and three pass breakups. But at halftime, with the Minutemen losing … 0

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